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September 2017


Extension hosted the last in a series of six statewide workshops "Considerations for Beginning Farmers" in July that introduced farmers to available TN and USDA resources. It was well received and Tennessee AgrAbility Project (TNAP) is now planning more educational workshops for beginning farmers and veterans with disabilities.

Veterans Experiencing Growth through Garden Interactive Experiences (VEGGIE) focus groups started at UT Gardens. It is a focus group to help review the VEGGIE pilot program. A promising new area in the treatment of veterans is horticultural therapy. Horticultural therapy is the use of horticultural activities by a trained therapist to achieve treatment goals. Studies show that horticultural therapy can reduce stress, improve mood, and help with other invisible wounds incurred from service. During the five-week pilot program, participants will learn the basics of gardening while reducing stress and improving moods. (Contact Derrick Stowell at 865-974-7151 or )

TNAP exhibited at the TN Small Farm Expo. There was great networking and representing of AgrAbility and Farmer Veteran Coalition/Homegrown by Heroes. BIG congratulations to Nikki Riddle, the 2017 TN Small Farmer of the Year with The Winery at Seven Springs! Readers may remember that The Winery at Seven Springs and Nikki graciously hosted some of the farm tours at the NTW 2017.
TNAP exhibited at the "Joint Operation," a free event to provide veterans and their families with a one-stop shop to access local resources and services in Knoxville. Joint Operation is open to all Tennessee veterans and their families and features more than 70 agencies and organizations with information on a number of resources, including: AgrAbility, Farmer Veteran Coalition/Homegrown by Heroes, VA claim assistance, vocational rehabilitation, education, employment, mental health, housing, legal assistance, and much more. Representatives are planning more events across the state. Click here to see them.

HorseTLC Therapeutic Riding Center, located in West TN, came in first place to win the horse "Lexlin Vanquish" of the Gypsy Vanner breed from Lexlin Gypsy Ranch in Rockwood, TN. TLC is a small therapeutic center but the final votes of 30,770 made them look very BIG! Thank you for your support. Vanquish has already begun his ground work and looks very promising to use in the therapeutic program.

Submitted by Tennessee AgrAbility